Lindsey Montileaux Mabbutt is a first-year MPH student specializing in American Indian Public Health. She is one of the thirteen NDSU students chosen to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University 2016 which was held at UC Berkely April 1-3. Mabbutt learned about this opportunity through a list-serv email she received.
Mabbutt's project involves a scholarship website where American Indian/Alaskan Native students can go to create a profile.
"This website will provide a seamless experience for students looking to apply for scholarships by notifying them for what they qualify for and submitting their profile information to applicable funders. For American Indian and Alaskan Native populations, financial barriers can stand in the way of reaching higher education, and there is financial aid available, but it can be extremely time-consuming and very difficult to navigate. Creating a website with a framework that encompasses an initial application for Native Students and a secondary supplemental application upon the funders' request, will work to increase the number of American Indian/ Alaskan Native students into higher education systems and provide ease and organization for students and student funders. Incorporated into the website will be notification systems for the students on deadlines and periodic reports distributed via email and text messages."
Mabbutt had this idea for many years now and was able to put it in writing for the application to CGI. The inspiration for this project came from when she personally tried to navigate the financial aid process in higher education, and found herself searching on numerous websites and getting frustrated in the process. "I have also experienced situations where you find a scholarship that you did not know you qualified for at the time, and the deadline has passed. With all of these barriers, I have a commitment to improve the entire process." said Mabbutt.
This website has the potential to reach thousands of Native students. It is her dream that this website will increase AI/AN representation in not only the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, but in all aspects of higher education. After the CGIU meeting she plans on working with the web design and meeting with possible organizations who would like to fund the idea.
The community at NDSU has helped along the way. NDSU has provided not only financial support, but has allowed her to collaborate with other students and faculty. Mabbutt is located in Seattle, WA, yet she takes part of conversations that have been happening on college and university Facebook pages and connected with instructors who are willing to give advice and help in any capacity that they can.
One of her inspirations along the way is the chair of the Public Health Department, Dr. Donald Warne. Warne was recently on a panel speaking to Bill Clinton himself. "Dr. Warne inspires me, not only in his own technological advancement efforts with CIGU, but in class every single week. He has so much passion and commitment into being an agent of change for Native populations. He has been an inspiration to me and I am thankful for his support," states Mabbutt.
After graduating from the American Indian Public Health track of the MPH program through NDSU, Mabbutt plans to continue dedicating her professional career to working towards obtaining healthy equity.